One of the fundamental human needs is a sense of belonging, connection, or community. We all have our stories of not belonging. How do we help others feel like they belong? How do we exclude others? Do we need boundaries? How does this play out on various levels – personal, social, congregational, national? What is a nation anyway, and how do we decide who belongs? Our worship leader, Allysson McDonald, wrote her Master’s Research Paper on nationhood, and as an “undercover immigrant” has personal experience of belonging and not belonging.
We worry about youth suicide, gun violence, and other issues affecting young people, but often feel helpless and don’t know how we can make a difference. The Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to thrive. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets). How do these fit with our UU values and how can we help instill them so our children can feel valued and lead healthy lives? All community members , not just parents, have roles to play. Do you know how to make a difference?
December’s worship theme at Mission Peak is Grace. On the last day we will explore the InterPlay idea of grace, which is similar to ease. I don’t know about you, but I could use more ease in my life! Come hang out with us, figure out how to let go of some of the stress of 2017 (hang loose), and ways to help you hang in there through the coming year. We’ll use a combination of ritual, meditation, conversation, and some easy movement to help us relax, connect, and discover what will bring more grace and help us ease into the New Year. Music by Jay Steele.
Last year the UUA named Rev. Barber’s book The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of the New Justice Movement as our 2016-17 Common Read. This week’s sermon will give you an overview of the themes of the book and argue that it is even more relevant post-election than it was before. Among other things, Barber can help us understand why we are where we are today and how we can find hope. How do we fit into the long view of history? Find out how we move forward together.
Our annual Love Hero service
Good riddance to 2016! Many of us experienced loss and frustration both on a personal level and on the larger stage. What can we do to help us move on? During this service we’ll have opportunities to let go of what we don’t need, honor our losses, count our blessings, and build hope for 2017. We may commit to resistance but we also need resilience. We will look to nature for inspiration. Join us January 1 to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year in with hope in our hearts.